[whatwg] <menu> and friends
dolske at mozilla.com
Sat Jan 5 00:05:29 PST 2013
On 1/4/13 7:05 PM, L. David Baron wrote:
>> I feel that I do see this quite often. maps.google.com, Google docs,
>> and Zimbra are three examples off the top of my head that I spend a
>> lot of time with.
> Has anyone asked the authors of these sites if they would have liked
> to retain the browser's default context menu items if they had been
> able to do so (while simultaneously adding their own items)?
It's certainly an interesting dichotomy.
If you look at it from the PoV of a traditional browser-UI-implementer,
it's an unsettling prospect... Allowing sites to override the context
menu leads to undesirable user surprise ("Hey, where'd my content menu
stuff go?!"). And in the past(?) a significant amount of oncontextmenu
usage was used solely for sketchy copy-protection purposes (ie,
attempting to block "copy selected text" or "copy image location" or
If you look at it from the PoV of a modern "webapp" (whatever that
means), many of the browser's standard context menu entries are simply
not terribly relevant to the webapp-specific uses a user might be
expecting. Consider the meager overlap (even in a very fuzzy sense)
between a browser's content menu and that of any native application.
In broad strokes, I'd suspect that we need to allow sites to completely
replace the context menu. (Specifically, for sites that implement
complex applications -- like Google docs or Zimbra -- but I don't know
how to tell the difference in code). I would also be quite interested in
author opinions on cases where they want a subset of browser menu items
(such as clipboard ops) mixed in with site-specific items.
A short-term thing we (browsers) could try would be to always show some
"important" subset of context menu items when the site is also supplying
their own. But perhaps easier said than done: at least in Firefox
there's a fair amount of complexity in determining what menu items to
[While I'm thinking of it, a related idea that's been bounced around in
Firefox-land is having some way of granting modestly elevated
permissions to a user's favorite sites. For example, if you "pin" a
Gmail tab -- or maybe just visit it more frequently than average? --
perhaps it should be able to do a few more things than the average web
page... Certainly not anything grossly sensitive w.r.t.
privacy/security. But maybe it should be able to change the context
menu, use more localstorage, etc. It's not something we're actively
implementing, but is an interesting area to ponder.]
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